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The Big Itch

 A friend of mine was telling me all about the time she ran the NY marathon. I was well impressed until she said ‘it was the second best day of my life’. She went on to tell me more about the great run, but I had already switched off. My head was burning with the one question ‘so what was the best day of your life?’ Turns out it was her wedding day. Personally, the idea of spending the day running through the streets of New York with every cell in your body pounding, does appeal to me a tad more than wearing a white dress and confronting family members who I usually spend all year avoiding. Luckily for me, I had fallen out with most of my friends and relatives by the time I got married, and given that wedding dresses are not all that flattering when you are six months pregnant, I went for the modest registry office option, hence, I cannot truly compare notes with my friend who ranks her wedding above running the marathon.
It made me think though: the happiest day in my life? There are certain days that stick. Coming second in the three legged race, aged 5, has stayed with me. But surely that can’t still be my happiest ever day? In fact, if it was, it would be sad which would cancel it out.
There are other kinds of days I can remember though. I’ll never forget the itchiest day in my life. It was a learning experience. I learnt that you should never wear a pair of nylons when teaching for a whole day in a stuffy room with no air conditioning if you have very angry athletes’ foot. I was supposed to be teaching middle managers how to be better middle managers. I was sitting, standing and walking at the top of the room and my foot was so itchy that my whole body began to break out in a sweat and whenever anyone asked me a question I’d make a Freudian slip by saying something like ‘ you need to have a good marketing itch, I mean pitch’.
Eventually I gave them an exercise and made it to the bathroom where I took off my tights and scratched my foot until it bled. One of the legs of my tights had slipped into the toilet during my scratching operation, which actually wasn’t all that bad, as it was a clean toilet bowl and it did have a cooling effect on my bad foot. I’m not sure what my class thought about teacher disappearing and returning with a wet leg, but I was just too itchy to care.
I’ve had a scariest day, which involved being stuck up a gorge at dusk while hiking in Corsica, there’s also been a most embarrassing day in which I sent a very inappropriate text message to the wrong person. I’m hopefully through with the most painful day in my life which ended by passing a stone through my kidney. Then there’s the most worrying day, the most tumultuous day and the day I made the best dinner ever.
Thinking about the happiest day makes me realise something brilliant though: I haven’t had it yet!


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